Adobe is releasing version 9 of its Connect Web conferencing software suite, with new features including enhanced mobile capabilities and online analytics.

Connecting in Mobile Space

One of the key new features of Connect 9 is advanced mobile support for meetings and training. Meeting hosts using tablets to gain access to Connect 9 can now use whiteboard and annotation tools, as well as share documents both directly from a tablet as well as from the cloud. In addition, instructors using mobile devices can use the same presenter and sharing options available on the desktop version of Connect to manage classrooms, and also use the same breakout room controls. Connect 9 supports Apple iOS, Android and Blackberry PlayBook devices, and enables mobile-to-mobile collaboration.

Other new features and functions of Connect 9 include Adobe SiteCatalyst online analytics capabilities that provide insight into participant engagement and identify the most effective meeting elements and topics, an engagement dashboard, templates for generating and triggering email content and customizable event landing pages and catalogs. Connect 9 supports HTML5 content, as well as SCORM 1.2 and 2004 content. 

Connect Update Reflects Adobe Mobile Awareness

Adobe’s inclusion of advanced mobile support features in its latest version of Connect reflects the company’s awareness of the demand for mobile services among its customers. In May 2012, Adobe VP of Enterprise Marketing Kevin Cochrane explained to CMSWire what his company’s customers are saying about and doing with mobile, and Connect 9 addresses several of those trends.

For example, Cochrane said companies are taking responsibility for their own mobile user experience, turning it into a core competency tied to overall Web application development expertise. Connect 9 allows users to create customized training and meeting experiences from a mobile platform, and support for multiple mobile platforms and mobile-to-mobile collaboration fits in with a growing BYOD (bring your own device) trend among Adobe customers.

In addition, Cochrane said Adobe customers are seeking HTML5 support, and online analytical capabilities to gauge user engagement and meet increased demand to tie the external customer experience to the internal mobile employee experience.

Cochrane also said that Adobe is adopting a “mobile first” development policy, where solutions are initially optimized for the iPhone, then the iPad and then the desktop. This policy recognizes what Cochrane said is the emergence of mobile as the primary online customer experience driver. Connect does not yet reflect the “mobile first” development strategy, as its mobile functionality is adapted from desktop tools, but it will be interesting to see what kinds of mobile features and functions are included in Connect 10.